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When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—And Joy

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"It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him." John Piper Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or here "It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him." John Piper Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness. Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.


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"It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him." John Piper Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or here "It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him." John Piper Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness. Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.

30 review for When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—And Joy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rick Davis

    I generally love John Piper, and this book did have some good stuff in it. The first and last chapter are good. However, I don't think there is any way I would ever recommend this book to someone suffering from depression. I know that it's not Piper's intention, and a non-depressed person reading it would probably understand where he's coming from just fine, but the way he approaches the subject leads me to believe that a depressed person reading this book would feel condemned and beaten down. N I generally love John Piper, and this book did have some good stuff in it. The first and last chapter are good. However, I don't think there is any way I would ever recommend this book to someone suffering from depression. I know that it's not Piper's intention, and a non-depressed person reading it would probably understand where he's coming from just fine, but the way he approaches the subject leads me to believe that a depressed person reading this book would feel condemned and beaten down. Not helpful in that regard.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Kyriosity

    Unlike the cancer book, this one does apply specifically to me. I don't know if I agree with everything Piper says here, but he writes with such gentleness and such careful attention to biblical truth and the wisdom of the saints of the past that I found a great deal of comfort here. I listened to most of it last night, and when I woke up in the wee hours, was able to open my prayer app and pray through my list with greater peace and trust than I've been able to muster for months. His demeanor m Unlike the cancer book, this one does apply specifically to me. I don't know if I agree with everything Piper says here, but he writes with such gentleness and such careful attention to biblical truth and the wisdom of the saints of the past that I found a great deal of comfort here. I listened to most of it last night, and when I woke up in the wee hours, was able to open my prayer app and pray through my list with greater peace and trust than I've been able to muster for months. His demeanor modeled and communicated God's care in a way that brought relief from a long sense of God's being exasperated with me that has made prayer and assurance of forgiveness nigh unto impossible. I don't know if the relief will last, but even this one day has been a blessed balm. The reader was not my favorite.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I like that he admits that not all depression is a spiritual problem. Some is physical and requires medication, however that is not where we should immediately turn. I'm glad the book mentioned degrees of faith. Sometimes our faith gets so small that we don't feel saved. I struggled with that for years. I have learned that it is not our faith that saves us; it is the object of our faith. If we depended on having enough faith to feel saved it would be salvation based on works. I like how he remin I like that he admits that not all depression is a spiritual problem. Some is physical and requires medication, however that is not where we should immediately turn. I'm glad the book mentioned degrees of faith. Sometimes our faith gets so small that we don't feel saved. I struggled with that for years. I have learned that it is not our faith that saves us; it is the object of our faith. If we depended on having enough faith to feel saved it would be salvation based on works. I like how he reminded me of David and his ups and downs. Everyone struggles with periods of spiritual darkness at some point in their lives to various degrees. The book talks about how sometimes we are so overcome that we don't want to get out of bed and do our jobs. He says we need to get up and do what we need to do while preaching the gospel to ourselves confessing our lack of joy. "Thanksgiving with the mouth stirs up thankfulness in the heart."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate Salvatore

    I'm so grateful I found this book while I'm actually experiencing some 'sub symptoms depression' which in this book or a Christian called 'spiritual darkness', and I'm so agree with that. When someone in a sorrow we tends to focus on our very own and forgot what God can do and turn it for us. In this book also mentioned good testimonies but somehow a few examples still live in depression but God sent someone to lead them along the journey. If you found yourself have doubt in yr spiritual journey I'm so grateful I found this book while I'm actually experiencing some 'sub symptoms depression' which in this book or a Christian called 'spiritual darkness', and I'm so agree with that. When someone in a sorrow we tends to focus on our very own and forgot what God can do and turn it for us. In this book also mentioned good testimonies but somehow a few examples still live in depression but God sent someone to lead them along the journey. If you found yourself have doubt in yr spiritual journey or feel uneasy to relieve in real life, this light yet profound book might help especially for a Christian.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    A fascinating little book, and I agree with the remedy he gives for people who are distressed. We need to get our eyes off ourselves and onto others. Taking an interest in others, Christians and the unsaved will bring joy to a depressed heart. We were born in sin, so it is natural to be self-centered. When we get saved, God wants us to think of others and to take an interest in others. This is the way that we can defeat depression. Believe me, there are many other self-centered people that need A fascinating little book, and I agree with the remedy he gives for people who are distressed. We need to get our eyes off ourselves and onto others. Taking an interest in others, Christians and the unsaved will bring joy to a depressed heart. We were born in sin, so it is natural to be self-centered. When we get saved, God wants us to think of others and to take an interest in others. This is the way that we can defeat depression. Believe me, there are many other self-centered people that need us to take an interest in them. And when we do, you will be surprised that helping others enables us to keep from being depressed and to develop joy in our own hearts. Plus if the person is unsaved and gets saved, that is a time of rejoicing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Introduction to a Biblical view of depression in the life of a Christian. Instead of telling the suffering to "stop it!" this book briefly explores possible reasons for depression, and ends with a chapter on encouraging and loving those who are suffering, giving the example of John Newton and William Cowper: It is a great tribute to him that he did not aban­don his friendship with Cowper, though this would, no doubt, have been emotionally easy to do. Instead, there was an earnest exchange of let Introduction to a Biblical view of depression in the life of a Christian. Instead of telling the suffering to "stop it!" this book briefly explores possible reasons for depression, and ends with a chapter on encouraging and loving those who are suffering, giving the example of John Newton and William Cowper: It is a great tribute to him that he did not aban­don his friendship with Cowper, though this would, no doubt, have been emotionally easy to do. Instead, there was an earnest exchange of letters for twenty years. Cowper poured out his soul to Newton as he did to no one else." Short, interesting read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    I love Piper, I have two other books from him, Faith in Future Grace and When I don't desire God. This book could've been the last chapter of the former. Great for trusting in God through our low moments. I love Piper, I have two other books from him, Faith in Future Grace and When I don't desire God. This book could've been the last chapter of the former. Great for trusting in God through our low moments.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    I like Piper. I enjoyed this, but I do not think I would recommend it to anyone in heavy "darkness." Someone struggling with debilitating sadness may find Piper's instructions unrealistic. He suggests to repent of "gloomy faith" and to repent of the sin of pride or self-pity at the root of it. He also states that joy is our responsibility, so maybe one should act more responsibly? Great book for thought, and maybe some truth here, but if you're looking for an empathetic shoulder to cry on, Piper I like Piper. I enjoyed this, but I do not think I would recommend it to anyone in heavy "darkness." Someone struggling with debilitating sadness may find Piper's instructions unrealistic. He suggests to repent of "gloomy faith" and to repent of the sin of pride or self-pity at the root of it. He also states that joy is our responsibility, so maybe one should act more responsibly? Great book for thought, and maybe some truth here, but if you're looking for an empathetic shoulder to cry on, Piper is not offering his.

  9. 4 out of 5

    George

    A brief and excellent book geared towards helping Christians suffering from long term depression. Here John Piper is gracious throughout and direct as well. I highly recommend it to anyone going through depression or to anyone with a friend going through it and wondering how to help them. Sharing this book with them would be a very good idea. The eBook version is freely downloadable from "www.desiringgod.org" A brief and excellent book geared towards helping Christians suffering from long term depression. Here John Piper is gracious throughout and direct as well. I highly recommend it to anyone going through depression or to anyone with a friend going through it and wondering how to help them. Sharing this book with them would be a very good idea. The eBook version is freely downloadable from "www.desiringgod.org"

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Goehmann

    Things I appreciated about this book- the recognition that it’s a complicated topic with no easy answers, the recognition that hope is found in God and a theology that doesn’t belittle feelings of darkness but encourage some real wrestling, comforting the believer who is asking questions rather than condemning the asking. Things I didn’t like - this was a rough theological look at depression for me, where things were intended to comfort, they waxed with words that seemed more like condemnation. Things I appreciated about this book- the recognition that it’s a complicated topic with no easy answers, the recognition that hope is found in God and a theology that doesn’t belittle feelings of darkness but encourage some real wrestling, comforting the believer who is asking questions rather than condemning the asking. Things I didn’t like - this was a rough theological look at depression for me, where things were intended to comfort, they waxed with words that seemed more like condemnation. The medication segment seemed to attempt lifting some shame, while simultaneously heaping a bit on by the end of the chapter. And also a sense of over spiritualizing while claiming to recognize the place of both body and soul in the condition. I would certainly never recommend it to a person struggling and likely not a person trying to find words to help someone struggling. Because it’s a section taken from a larger book, I wonder if it was just a poor choice of selection to offer as a small text on such a topic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley McKnight

    Short, concise and encouraging. While not diminishing medical aspects of depression, Piper gives real and tangible encouragements both for the one in darkness and those who seek to love those in darkness.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joel Arnold

    This book (79 pages) is short and light enough to read in one sitting when you have a little spare time. You'll probably be done with it in the time it takes to watch a movie (and be much better off). Piper provides excellent biblical counsel for people who struggle with depression, doubts, or excessive introversion. Along the way, he provides reorienting thoughts for any believer and direction for counseling others through depression. Whether you have struggled with depression in the past, face This book (79 pages) is short and light enough to read in one sitting when you have a little spare time. You'll probably be done with it in the time it takes to watch a movie (and be much better off). Piper provides excellent biblical counsel for people who struggle with depression, doubts, or excessive introversion. Along the way, he provides reorienting thoughts for any believer and direction for counseling others through depression. Whether you have struggled with depression in the past, face it now, or don't think you ever will, this book is well worth your time. Random notes: 37 - In Phil. 3:12, our security in Christ rests not on our faith in him but His faithfulness first. So also 2 Tim. 2:19; Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6 40 - drive struggling Christians to look at Christ rather than focusing on their struggles. 42 - no one knows with absolute mathematical certainty that their wife won't kill them during the night, but they can still live with it anyway. We shouldn't demand that kind of certainty with God when we don't in any part of life. Faith is more certain and dependable than despair. 49-51 - one valid response to struggle is to get busy, but with several qualifications: 1) God commands joy, 2) repent of not having joy, 3) ask God to restore the joy, and 4) thank him for giving even the strength to do work. 59 - positively footnotes David Powlinson Power Encounters 61-62 - sometimes our depression goes back to only thinking about ourselves. Widen your focus to others. 74 - God has His reasons for letting believers go through difficult times. Jesus felt forsaken - was forsaken - on the cross. God has reasons for allowing us to feel that sometimes too. 77 - in William Cowpers case, God used depression to deepen him and produce powerful texts like "God Moves in a Mysterious Way." "There is a legacy of sever mercy in writings such as these. The words are costly. And so they prove precious."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Carroll

    This is an excellent starting point for studying what the Bible and theologians have to say about mental illness, depression, and melancholy. This takes a very well-rounded view including facets of depression from spiritual to physical. Piper provides many useful resources, Bible passages, and further reading suggestion which can help open to the door to this topic. I'm rating this 4.5 stars because I think Piper glosses over just how debilitating depression can be in his effort to get to the us This is an excellent starting point for studying what the Bible and theologians have to say about mental illness, depression, and melancholy. This takes a very well-rounded view including facets of depression from spiritual to physical. Piper provides many useful resources, Bible passages, and further reading suggestion which can help open to the door to this topic. I'm rating this 4.5 stars because I think Piper glosses over just how debilitating depression can be in his effort to get to the useful, practical advice. While I realize this short book has limitations, I think it is vitally important to ensure people with depression, and their friends, that there will be days, weeks, or months when getting out of bed is insurmountable. God gives grace for that too. Piper skims this in his effort to exhort people to obey God even if their heart is not in it - also an important message. His emphasis on confession may also be a little too heavy for someone currently struggling with a physical mental illness - something to keep in mind as you counsel others. Overall, a helpful book with much wisdom.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeske

    2,5 stars really. I of course could not expect much depth from a 73-page book on a difficult subject such as this but i was still quite disappointed by its focus on sin and on duty. There was little comfort and softness in its overall tone. However, i did like some if the poems he shared and his inspiring idea to live for a greater cause (healing this world) as one of the things that might alleviate one's own sorrow and despair. 2,5 stars really. I of course could not expect much depth from a 73-page book on a difficult subject such as this but i was still quite disappointed by its focus on sin and on duty. There was little comfort and softness in its overall tone. However, i did like some if the poems he shared and his inspiring idea to live for a greater cause (healing this world) as one of the things that might alleviate one's own sorrow and despair.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I suffer with minor depression occasionally, and had a year-long bout of moderate depression in my past... I can't say that I found this book terribly helpful or encouraging, it was just ok. I suffer with minor depression occasionally, and had a year-long bout of moderate depression in my past... I can't say that I found this book terribly helpful or encouraging, it was just ok.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tatuu

    Read in 2009. Definitely calls for a re-read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Triplett

    As someone who periodically battles feelings of melancholy and despair, I found this short book extremely helpful, practical and encouraging!

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    Absolutely fantastic book. Easy to read, short, and well worth it. Helpful to anyone who struggles with anxiety/depression, or d you want to learn how to care for those who suffer.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ron Willoughby

    Thank you Adam Feldman for recommending this powerful little book to me. Timely.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Only intelligent repentance, living faith, and tangible obedience turn the world upside down. the relationship between the soul and the brain is beyond human comprehension and should be handled with the greatest care and with profound attention to the moral and spiritual realities of human personhood that may exert as much influence on the brain as vice versa. “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” One of the reasons God loved David so much was that he cried so much Only intelligent repentance, living faith, and tangible obedience turn the world upside down. the relationship between the soul and the brain is beyond human comprehension and should be handled with the greatest care and with profound attention to the moral and spiritual realities of human personhood that may exert as much influence on the brain as vice versa. “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” One of the reasons God loved David so much was that he cried so much. Then after the cry you wait. “I waited patiently for the LORD.” This is crucial to know: saints who cry to the Lord for deliverance from pits of darkness must learn to wait patiently for the Lord. Only God knows how long we must wait. We can draw no deadlines for God. He hastens or he delays as he sees fit. And his timing is all-loving toward his children. Oh, that we might learn to be patient in the hour of darkness. I don’t mean that we make peace with darkness. We fight for joy. But we fight as those who are saved by grace and held by Christ. Leave to His sovereign sway To choose and to command; So shalt thou, wondering, own that way, How wise, how strong this hand. Paul’s efforts to grasp the fullness of joy in Christ are secured by Christ’s grasp of him. possible to be so overwhelmed with darkness that you do not know if you are a Christian—and yet still be one. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). we must wait for the Lord, cry to him, and know that our own self-indictment, rendered in the darkness, is not as sure as God’s Word spoken in the light. “Stop looking at your faith, and rivet your attention on Christ. Faith is sustained by looking at Christ, crucified and risen, not by turning from Christ to analyze your faith. read Luke 22 through 24 Our dark certainties are not sureties. While we have the light, let us cultivate distrust of the certainties of despair. [God] changes not because thou changest. Nay, He has an especial tenderness of love towards thee for that thou art in the dark and hast no light, and His heart is glad when thou dost arise and say, “I will go to my Father.” . . . Fold the arms of thy faith, and wait in the quietness until light goes up in thy darkness. Fold the arms of thy Faith I say, but not of thy Action: bethink thee of something that thou oughtest to do, and go to do it, if it be but the sweeping of a room, or the preparing of a meal, or a visit to a friend. Heed not thy feel­ings: Do thy work. don’t let wrong feelings govern you. Act against them. If your feelings are telling you that staying in bed is the best thing today, preach to your feelings and tell them how foolish they are. Don’t forget that defeating these wrong feelings and getting out of bed is enabled by the Spirit and is becoming what you are in Christ. But then exert your will and get up! there remains in his heart the seed of joy in the form, perhaps, of only a remembered taste of goodness and an unwillingness to let the goodness go. This is not the “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). It’s not the joy that we have known at times and fight to regain. But it is a fragment of such joy—like Instead of only saying, “Just do your duty,” we must say four other things as well. First, we must say that joy is part of your duty. The Bible says, “Rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16). And in regard to the duty of giving, it says, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). In regard to the duty of service, it says, “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps. 100:2). In regard to the duty of mercy, it says do it “with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:8). In regard to the duty of afflictions, it says, “Count it all joy” (James 1:2). Failing to rejoice in God when we are commanded to rejoice is sin. False comforts lead to artificial healing. But the truest diagnoses lead to the deepest cures. So, yes, we tell the disconsolate: “If you can, get up from your bed and make a meal, or sweep a room, or take a walk, or visit a friend, or go to work. But it is not a matter of indifference whether you do this with joy in God, and if you can’t, then tell him so, and that you are sorry. He will hear you mercifully and forgive.” As you are able to do some of your duty, ask God that the joy be restored. “Be sure to thank God as you work that he has given you at least the will to work.” You are not seeking the praise of men; you are seeing the mercy of God. You are not hiding the hardness of ingratitude, but hoping for the inbreaking of the Spirit. Psalm 19:12-13: “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!” We have hidden faults that we cannot even confess, because we don’t know what they are. And we have sins that we know about. It is good news to realize there is a biblical prayer that covers both. The battle can be fierce. What is called for usually is the ministry of 2 Timothy 2:24-26: The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. Isaiah 58. If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. the cure may be the gradual embrace of a vision of life that is far greater than our present concerns. little by little a life can be built on grace and forgiveness that comes to the point where to be an advocate and a witness to Jesus is like breathing—and just as life-giving. You cannot persuade a depressed person that he has not been utterly rejected by God if he is persuaded that he has been. But you can stand by him. God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up his bright designs And works his sovereign will. You fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds you so much dread Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head. His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower. Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan his work in vain; God is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain. my deare angrie Lord, Since thou dost love, yet strike; Cast down, yet help afford; Sure I will do the like. I will complain, yet praise; I will bewail, approve: And all my sowre-sweet dayes I will lament, and love. sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andy Dollahite

    For its intended purpose this is outstanding. It’s densely packed wisdom. Exceedingly pastoral, balanced, and insightful. His short comments on the crucial necessity of embracing justification by faith alone, even if that faith is shrouded in the darkness of depression, were precise and comforting. There is no hope other than Christ our righteousness. He helpfully distinguished the theological categories in play, as well as the medical and psychological variables. Piper has the softest words to For its intended purpose this is outstanding. It’s densely packed wisdom. Exceedingly pastoral, balanced, and insightful. His short comments on the crucial necessity of embracing justification by faith alone, even if that faith is shrouded in the darkness of depression, were precise and comforting. There is no hope other than Christ our righteousness. He helpfully distinguished the theological categories in play, as well as the medical and psychological variables. Piper has the softest words to console the afflicted, but he’s not afraid to broach the controversial issues associated with depression too (medication, underlying sin, etc). Interspersed were engaging snippets from Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, and John Newton. The closing chapter on William Cowper was perfect.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy Bower

    John Piper’s booklet, When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy (2006), is adapted from the final chapter of Piper’s book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004). Anyone familiar with John Piper knows his core message is to take joy in God. So he views depression through this filter. That is, depression is the absence of joy. He writes, “Failing to rejoice in God when we are commanded to rejoice is sin” (p. 50). Furthe John Piper’s booklet, When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait for God—and Joy (2006), is adapted from the final chapter of Piper’s book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004). Anyone familiar with John Piper knows his core message is to take joy in God. So he views depression through this filter. That is, depression is the absence of joy. He writes, “Failing to rejoice in God when we are commanded to rejoice is sin” (p. 50). Further, he believes the head rules the heart and if you act by sheer willpower, the emotion will follow. The truth is, our emotions move us to act. Willpower is exhausting and not the way of grace. Piper’s writing is peppered with quotes from saints long ago, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, and Richard Baxter. It makes the writing difficult for someone mired in depression who has difficulty concentrating and just needs quick, practical help. It’s more of a theological paper than an infusion of hope for the depressed. Chapter five, “The Darkness That Feeds on Self-Absorption,” offered some of the most practical content. He cites Isaiah 58:10-11 and Acts 20:35 as a remedy for depression. By nature, depression causes us to turn inward, but if we can pour out our lives to help others, we will become a well-watered garden full of light. Then, as Piper writes, “As health and joy return, we may be capable of more than we ever dreamed” (p. 64). Finally, a sliver of hope! The final chapter focused on “Loving Those Who Cannot See the Light.” Sadly, the advice in this chapter amounted to: “If depressed saints cannot read the Bible or a good book, we should read it to them” (p. 70).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Mead

    I appreciated the biblical truth and hope found in this little book. When in the darkness of depression, we can cry out to a God who loves to hear us call him. We can find our security in him alone, even though our feelings may tell us strongly otherwise. "Start with despair. Despair of finding any answer in yourself . . . cast yourself on Christ." (p. 21) This book is short and therefore there's a lot that it didn't address but I found most of the book really helpful. I appreciated the biblical truth and hope found in this little book. When in the darkness of depression, we can cry out to a God who loves to hear us call him. We can find our security in him alone, even though our feelings may tell us strongly otherwise. "Start with despair. Despair of finding any answer in yourself . . . cast yourself on Christ." (p. 21) This book is short and therefore there's a lot that it didn't address but I found most of the book really helpful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sondra Retzlaff

    I am learning things I did not know about myself, and this book came at just the right time. I found it comforting and reassuring, and one of my favorite takeaways was that when the darkness lingers, one way to experience joy in the midst of it is to think of, pray for and check in on your other friends or people you know who would need or appreciate it. It can be challenging when emotions are raging and mood is low, but it does tend to shift the focus off of oneself, and helping others always f I am learning things I did not know about myself, and this book came at just the right time. I found it comforting and reassuring, and one of my favorite takeaways was that when the darkness lingers, one way to experience joy in the midst of it is to think of, pray for and check in on your other friends or people you know who would need or appreciate it. It can be challenging when emotions are raging and mood is low, but it does tend to shift the focus off of oneself, and helping others always feels good.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary Rachel Fenrick

    Normally I don’t love Piper’s writing style (though I greatly enjoy hearing him teach) because it feels too heady and choppy. This book is a wonderful exception. Piper handles a very tough topic with a perfect balance of grace and conviction. He does a great job of incorporating both scripture and practicality, and as someone in a season of darkness, I found this book helpful and refreshing. I feel sure that I will keep coming back to it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy Bintoro

    This is a quick read from desiring god series. The content is an empowering for our life when spiritual darkness came to our life. This darkness could be means depression and any other things so we couldnt feel joy in our life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Bowick

    There are no wasted words here. He gets straight to the point and only lingers where it is needed. A short encouraging read to uplift and teach.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amelia Lax

    Zoo wee mama, John Piper comes for all who are melancholy or in depression in the most gracious yet truth-filled of books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Ries

    I found the book was helpful in understanding darkness as a Christian, however, the flow did not run well.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Short and succinct, Piper gently but honestly navigates the complex issue of depression / darkness for Christians. He doesn't shy away from telling it how it is, yet at the same time, he does this in a very encouraging manner and continually reminds the Believer of the power and safe keeping of God. As someone who is experiencing the melancholy Piper references, I found this book both enlightening and very encouraging. Short and succinct, Piper gently but honestly navigates the complex issue of depression / darkness for Christians. He doesn't shy away from telling it how it is, yet at the same time, he does this in a very encouraging manner and continually reminds the Believer of the power and safe keeping of God. As someone who is experiencing the melancholy Piper references, I found this book both enlightening and very encouraging.

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